A fun and festive creation, featuring brightly decorated Easter eggs and sprinkles. You could turn making the colorful treat into an Easter tradition, since it’s a family-friendly activity everyone will enjoy. Plus, you could repurpose your decorated hard-boiled eggs to become the focal point of the bread. Make it on Easter Sunday afternoon for a fun activity on the holiday or make it ahead of your Easter celebration to serve as the centerpiece of your table. You can even decorate your Easter eggs for the bread in between steps or while your dough proofs.
How to shape and decorate Italian Easter Bread
This recipe makes 4 wreaths. To make the wreaths, the dough is divided into two long ropes and twisted to form a ring. They’re topped with an egg wash to get a golden-brown color, then dotted with colorful sprinkles for a pretty springtime look.
Is it necessary to cook the eggs?
Since the eggs will go into your Pit Boss to cook along with the bread, it isn’t necessary to boil them first. However, the eggs may not fully cook during that time. So, if you plan on saving the bread for the next day, the eggs should be removed if you decide to use raw ones.
When to dye the eggs
While the dough is rising is an eggs-ellent (see what I did there?) time to dye the eggs. This allows plenty of time for them dry.
Here’s how to make Easter Bread:
1 ¾ cup, 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp Pit Boss GSP Rub
Zest of 1 lemon
2 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
¼ cup warm milk (100 degrees or below)
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
2 room temperature eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 egg, beaten
2-4 eggs, uncooked and dyed any color
Sprinkles, any color
In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients and lemon zest.
Make a well in the center and add the milk and mix with a fork. Then add eggs and combine. With the dough hook attachment, knead for approximately 1 minute just to combine. Don’t overmix or you’ll overwork the dough.
Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise 2 hours in a warm area. Every 30 minutes, fold both ends into the middle. Repeat 4 times.
When the 2 hours are up, begin to add the butter a little at a time, on medium high speed with the dough hook. Knead just to combine all the butter. Knead until smooth and the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl (this should take 6-7 minutes of kneading). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours.
Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part into 2 ropes, about 10 to 12 inches. Join the 2 ropes at the top and twist the ends one over the other (like braiding a hair), join the ends to form a circle repeat with the remaining ropes. Place the dough on a baking sheet with parchment paper, cover and let rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours or until they double in bulk.
30 minutes before rising time has finished, get smoker turned on and set to 400°F.
Add a dyed uncooked egg to the center of the dough, then brush with the egg wash, taking care not to brush the eggs. Then, add sprinkles.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden. Immediately move the baked wreaths to a wire rack to cool.
Let cool before serving, and enjoy!